Yesterday we learned about Simeon meeting Jesus at the temple. Today we will be introduced to a prophet named Anna.
But first! We will be adding on to our memory verses.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.”
36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.Luke 2:36-40, NIV
What do you teach them?
Here’s what I say to my kids:
- Yesterday we learned about a righteous and devout man named Simeon. The Holy Spirit spoke through Simeon the same way that the Holy Spirit spoke through Mary’s relative Elizabeth.
- However, Simeon was not the only prophet in the temple when Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to be presented. There was an old woman named Anna there also.
- The scripture tells us that Anna was a prophet, which means someone who speaks the words of God. She was the daughter of someone named Penuel and she was from the tribe of Asher.
- Originally, there were 12 different tribes of Israelites. By the time Jesus was born the Israelites had already split into two kingdoms and those kingdoms had been conquered and ruled by several empires. The many changes that had taken place over hundreds of years meant that many of the people no longer knew what tribe they came from.
- It is interesting that Anna knew she was from the tribe of Asher, because this was one of the tribes that had been “lost.” Very few people in Jesus’ day could say that they knew they were from the tribe of Asher.
- We are told that when she was young she had been married. She was married for seven years and then her husband died. Instead of getting remarried, Anna went to the temple.
- The scripture says that she never left the temple, but worshiped night and day. She prayed and she fasted.
- It seems that she saw Simeon giving his blessings to Mary and Joseph and making proclamations about the baby Jesus. She came up to them and gave thanks to God.
- Anna went on to tell people about Jesus. Many Jewish people were waiting for the Messiah and Anna told many of them about the baby she had met in the temple. He was and is the redemption of Jerusalem, God’s people.
- Finally, Mary and Joseph finished doing all of the things that the law required them to do after having a new baby. They went back to their home in Nazareth.
- As Jesus continued to grow up, he was filled with wisdom and the grace of God was on him. This is not surprising, because as you and I both know, Jesus was without sin. It is difficult to imagine a little child that did not sin!
- As usual we end our time with a prayer.